There’s a movement building to eliminate wins as a metric for starting pitchers, one that’s come 20 years too late for Anthony Young. The former Met hurler was 5-35 over three years in Flushing despite a virtually identical ERA and WHIP to that posted by Russ Ortiz in 2003, when the ex-Giant went 21-7 in his first year as a Brave.
Speaking of hapless milestones, could this be the game B.J. surpasses the .200 mark? He’s fresh off his best series as a Brave and bats lead-off tonight in place of Jordan Schafer, who’s resting a sore back. Evan Gattis is back with the team and starting in LF after a productive weekend in Buford (six hits, including a HR and two doubles in three games).
1. B. Upton CF 2. J. Upton RF 3. Freeman 1B 4. McCann C 5. C. Johnson 3B 6. Gattis LF 7. Uggla 2B 8. Simmons SS 9. Medlen P
Random thoughts around the league:
- Did you hear about “Conservative Hero” Bryce Harper getting called out for dogging it on the base paths? Don’t recall anyone ever having to do that to “union member” Jason Heyward.
- Here’s how I’d use the relievers the rest of the way. Avoid having pitchers appear on consecutive days, and if it does happen give said pitcher two days off before using them again. The Braves ‘pen is mightier than anyone else’s and must be handled with extreme care over the next month if that advantage is to be maintained.
- In a five-game series I’d rather take my chances with the Cards or Reds than the Pirates or Dodgers. Wainwright and Latos are intimidating but Liriano and Kershaw are dominating and left-handed. Speaking of the Bucs, while former Brave Jeff Locke has struggled since the All-Star break, Charlie Morton has picked up the slack with a 2.90 ERA in the second half. FW’s track record on trades is outstanding but that deal, which brought Nate McLouth to Atlanta, now stands as his worst.
- Terence Moore can be an easy target, but Craig Calcaterra of Hardball Talk offers a lazy rebuttal to the former AJC scribe’s assertion that throwing more often would result in fewer Tommy John surgeries. Calcaterra, a big Braves fan, fails to address the track records of Glavine, Maddux and Smoltz, who routinely surpassed 200 innings per season while throwing regularly between starts. Smoltzie was the only one of the three to go on the DL in the 90s and he didn’t miss significant time until the 2000 season. I don’t know if pitchers need to throw more or less, but the Sain/Mazzone method seems to indicate it can’t hurt. And yes, I’m aware Mad Dog and Tommy G. had fluid motions and weren’t particularly hard throwers, but you could say the same about Medlen and Beachy. Johnny Sain’s track record shouldn’t be dismissed just because Terence Moore brought him up.
- Sure would be interesting to see Chris Christie take on Yankees AND Cubs fan Hillary Clinton in 2016. “If there’s any team that I hate almost as much as the Yankees, it’s the Philadelphia Phillies,” Christie said recently. He added Ruben Amaro is an “awful” general manager, and Charlie Manuel’s firing was handled “disgracefully.” But Christie is not a certified nut so his chances of securing the GOP nomination are as slim as he isn’t.